Finding contact details

The Parliament UK website has everything you need - https://www.parliament.uk/

In the section on MPs there is a search box which allows you to look by postcode, your MP’s name or constituency: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Once you have found your MP’s page, there will be contact details for their Westminster address and/or their constituency address. If you are a constituent you are entitled to use either address. Usually there are details for post or email – either is fine to use.

Please also note their preferred title – Sir, Ms, Mr, etc
 

Tips and guidelines for writing letters to MPs

The WEA is a charity and must follow certain guidelines about campaigning. Although you may be writing in a personal capacity, it is important that the WEA is not thought to be encouraging inappropriate activity.

In any case, you will be more likely to receive a response to your letter if you take a positive and polite approach. Although you do not have to follow our template letter exactly, we have tried to steer towards including: positive personal stories, your concerns about the decline in funding, and suggestions for how your MP can help.

When writing please consider the following guidelines:

  • Explain what adult education means for you – what have you gained and what would be lost if it did not continue
  • Mention your local area – you are writing to your MP about their constituency
  • Be concise and keep the letter to less than two sides
  • Keep to the subject – adult education – and do not be tempted to cover other policy areas
  • Avoid party politics – even if your local MP is not from the party you support
  • Be polite and positive – certainly do not use abusive language
  • Be factual – there are some facts and figures in our guidance if you would like to use them
  • Be patient – MPs receive a lot of correspondence and most do not have much administrative support. Most MPs will respond to a letter from a constituent but it may be several weeks before you hear.
  • Be aware of what your MP can realistically do – raise the issue with the Government and in Westminster; meet with learners locally; promote the #AEW campaign on social media (the template letter has more detail)
  • In the event that a General Election is called there are very strict guidelines on how a charity and its members can campaign. We will issue new guidance in those circumstances and please refrain from writing as all MPs stand down once an Election is called.


Regional Mayors and devolved budgets

Adult Education Works is a campaign focused on MPs who may be in a position to influence the overall level and direction of national Government spending on adult education. We are encouraging a national focus even though, as you may know, an increasingly large percentage of the adult education budget is devolved, in other words the elected Mayors of the Mayoral Combined Authorities and Greater London Authority are able to set spending priorities regionally and locally. 

Although the Mayors can choose how to spend their allocation for adult education, the amount they receive is still determined by national Government. The Government will soon be considering how much each national Government Department will receive for the next few years and that in turn will influence how each Department chooses to allocate funding for specific things, including adult education. Regardless of whether the funding is passed on to the Mayors or spent directly by national Government (e.g. in areas where there is no Mayor), the overall amount of money ring-fenced for adult education is crucial. In recent years it has been around £1.5bn a year nationally. We are calling for this to rise to £3bn a year nationally to compensate for cuts in the budget over the last ten years.

Your local MP may refer to the Mayor if they are in an area which has one and we would certainly encourage MPs to be in close contact with Mayors about adult education spending. Mayors may also be powerful figures in calling for increased national funding for adult education. If you would like to find out more about adult education funding in areas which have an elected Mayor and if you would like to copy your letter to your MP to your regional elected Mayor, then details can be found here: https://www.local.gov.uk/topics/devolution/directly-elected-mayors